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Medicine / Botany: علم نباتات طبى دفترى



[İlm-i Nebatât-ı Tıbbiye Defteri / Notebook on the Knowledge on Medical Botany]


A rare, seemingly unrecorded hectographed Ottoman book on medical botany, accompanied with charming illustrations and titles and based on the lectures by a veterinarian Mehmed Ali Bey the Imperial Medical School, and edited by Esat Şerefeddin Köprülü, later a famous botanist and professor


Small 4°, 181 pp. 146 pp., hectograph with illustrations on paper of two different size, contemporary brown boards with debossed decoration, brown calf spine with gilt decoration and lettering (one page with a longer tear without text loss, minor staining and foxing, mostly to the first and last pages, a tiny loss of paper in the margin of the title page, but overall in a good condition with minor wear to the binding).


1 in stock


The richly illustrated text on the medical botany is based on the lectures, held at the Imperial Medical School in Istanbul, the first institution in the Ottoman Empire to teach botany. The charming numberless illustrations depict plants and their parts and escalate in the second part into fantastic series of titles in Latin letters, combined from various fonts and phytomorphic forms.

The text is made for the lectures of Mehmed Ali Bey (1834-1916?), one of the three pioneers of medical botany in the Ottoman Empire next to Charles Bernard, an Austrian who introduced botany lectures to the Imperial Medical School in Istanbul, and Salih Efendi.

The editor of the text Esat Şerefeddin Köprülü (1866-1942), was a former student of Mehmed Ali and later his assistant and a lecturer from 1889 on. He would in the following years become a known and prolific Ottoman / Turkish botanist and author, who served as a teacher of botany until 1933 at the Medical school, University and at the Military School. He was one of the first Ottoman specialist in botanical medicine. Şerefeddin also served as the chief physician at various hospitals during the Turco-Greek war (1897), the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and the first World War (1914-1918).

Şerefeddin did not publish his own book until 1901, but our title remains seemingly unrecorded in the literature available to us.

The book was published in a limited edition in the technique of the hectograph only for the students of the institution. The text is based on the Western literature, but was adjusted by Mehmed Ali Bey for the lectures and is today seemingly unrecorded. In 1902 (1318), he published a book with a similar title İlm-i Nebatât-ı Tıbbiye, which was a translation, based on the text by Désiré Cauvet.

We could not find any references to the title in the literature nor any other institutional examples.

References: Cf. Asuman BAYTOP – Feza GÜNERGUN, Dr. Esat Şerefeddin Köprülü (1866-1942) ve Botanikle İlgili Çalışmaları. Marmara Üniversitesi Eczacılık Fakültesi Dergisi,Journar of Pharmacy of University of Marmara, 12, 2, 1996, pp. 97-111.

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